Daily Encouragement: Day 340

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth


The ministry of the Holy Spirit is multifaceted, but three essential aspects are:

  1. Bearing witness to Jesus Christ;
  2. Applying Christ’s redemptive work in human hearts; and
  3. Working personally and progressively to form Christlikeness in the lives of believers. He empowers us to live a new quality of life, He purifies and purges us as we submit to His authority and control, and He equips us with spiritual gifts and opportunities to build others up in the faith.

But as J. I. Packer observes in Keep in Step with the Spirit, there are limitations to seeing the doctrine of the Spirit as essentially about power, purity, or performance. While all of these are vital components of the work of the Spirit of God, it is best to see the Spirit as an active, personal presence in our lives. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ by mediating Christ’s presence to us. The Spirit assures us of the Father’s love and care, brings us into personal fellowship with Jesus, and transforms our character so that we become more like Him.

It is wrong to speak of the Holy Spirit as an “it”—He is a living and loving Person, not a force to be utilized. Jesus called Him the Paraclete, a name which means “one called alongside” to help (John 14:16, 25; 15:26; 16:7). Paracletos is variously translated Helper, Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Intercessor, Supporter, and Strengthener, and each of these terms carries a different nuance of the Spirit’s ministry to us.

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